Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney in Ramallah
Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney in RamallahFlash 90

The Israeli government has summoned Ireland’s ambassador, after a senior Irish official publicly condemned Israel’s counter-terror operations in the Gaza Strip.

Kyle O'Sullivan, Ireland’s ambassador in Tel Aviv, was summoned by the Israeli Foreign Ministry in response to recent comments by Simon Coveney, the Irish Foreign Minister.

On Tuesday, Coveney decried Israel’s air campaign against terrorists in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip as “brutal”, and said Israel “should be condemned”.

“I’ve been in UNRWA schools in Gaza,” Coveney tweeted. “Killing of children in conflict is never acceptable. Israel should be condemned for targeting Gaza with such tragic consequences. Firing rockets from Gaza must be condemned, but so too should such a brutal response. This violence must end.”

Speaking in the Irish parliament Tuesday, Coveney said he had notified Ambassador O’Sullivan of the Irish government’s position, calling Israel’s military response to Hamas attacks “not acceptable.”

“The approach of the Israeli authorities and security forces in my view is not acceptable”.

“I underlined the need for the Israeli authorities to behave responsibly and protect all civilians in line with their obligations under international law.”

Coveney also criticized Israel over the planned evictions of dozens of Arab squatters residing illegally on Jewish-owned property in the Shimon Hatzaddik (Sheikh Jarrah) neighborhood of Jerusalem.

Five people were killed in terrorist rocket attacks across Israel Tuesday, with dozens more injured.

Israel’s retaliatory strikes on terrorist targets in Gaza left 35 dead, Gaza’s health authority has claimed.